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Graduate Studies

Visiting Graduate Students

Who is a visiting graduate student?

A visiting student IS

  • currently registered in a graduate degree program in another university;
  • a student who has made arrangements through both their home university and a graduate program at McMaster, to spend some time at McMaster as part of their degree program at their home university.

A visiting student IS NOT

  • a degree-seeking student at McMaster University;
  • part of any official exchange agreement, including Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS).

See the McMaster Academic Graduate Calendar for more information.

Expandable List

Students meeting the visiting student definition may visit for a maximum of one year, to fulfill one of the following goals: 

  • take course work in a specific program;
  • conduct research in a specific lab; or
  • participate in an internship with a specific program or faculty member.

All visiting graduate students must:

  1. apply to be a Visiting Student at McMaster University and be admitted;
  2. enrol in SGS 302 for every term that they are a visiting student;
  3. enrol in – and complete – SGS 101 and 201; and
  4. pay supplementary fees.

International visiting students must also:

  • enrol in the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) for the duration of their visit, if they do not have accepted equivalent health insurance coverage; and
  • abide by all Canadian immigration requirements to enter and stay in Canada.

First steps to becoming a visiting student

  • If you are planning to take one or more courses, identify the graduate program associated with your planned activities.
  • If you are planning to conduct research, you must find a supervisor to support your visit.
  • Contact the program or faculty member to enquire about the potential for your planned visit.
    • If they are supportive of your visit, contact the department’s graduate administrator to start the application process.
    • If you are a Mitacs award recipient, contact the School of Graduate Studies to start the application process.
  • If your application to be a visiting student is successful, you will receive an official offer letter.

Additional steps for visiting international graduate students

You will need to use your Offer Letter to complete the necessary immigration requirements.

  • If the purpose of your visit is to take courses and your visit is longer than 6 months, you will need a study permit.
  • If the purpose of your visit is to take courses and your visit is 6 months or less, you do not need a study permit to study in Canada. You cannot work in Canada (including research or internships, regardless of whether it’s paid) during this time.
  • If the purpose of your visit is to conduct research, complete an internship, or work, you will need a work permit or, if you are eligible, documentation from the Canadian Government stating an exemption for a work permit. Please contact the School of Graduate Studies for more information regarding next steps.
    • IMPORTANT – Before contacting us, please ensure that you have the following information confirmed and available:
      • Potential dates of your visit.
      • Supervisory support for your admission.

After you’ve been admitted, you are eligible for many of the same services as McMaster degree-seeking students, including a MacID, student card, email and online account access, and more.

For all visiting grad students

Additional resources for international students